On December 3, 1926 a Morris Cowley car was found by a lake near Guildford, England. Inside the car was an expired driver’s license and clothes. A £100 reward for the missing person was offered by the local newspaper. Finally, on December 14th, a Mrs. Teresa Neele from Cape Town was found at a spa hotel. Two doctors examined Mrs. Neele and diagnosed her with temporary amnesia. Mrs. Teresa Neele was, in fact, one of the most famous mystery writers of all time – Agatha Christie.
What really transpired on December 3, 1926 is still a mystery. Well, not if you happened to go back in time in a blue police box with a man named the Doctor.
I recently watched “The Unicorn and the Wasp,” an episode of the BBC’s popular show, Doctor Who. In the episode, for those who haven’t seen it, the Doctor and Donna, his companion, travel back in time and invite themselves to a dinner party at the Lady Eddison’s manor where Agatha Christie is visiting. The date is December 3, 1926. The party is soon ruined when a maid comes running out of the manor saying that someone has been murdered in the library. The Doctor, Donna, and Agatha Christie join together to solve the mystery of who the murderer is.
(River Song would like to step in and stop anyone planning on watching this episode from reading the next paragraph because it is filled with spoilers. So, skip the next paragraph if you’d like to avoid them. If not, well, read on, sweeties. 😉 )
The murderer is a huge alien wasp. According to the Doctor, this alien wasp is called a Vespiform and is connected to his human mother through a fire stone. Because his mother was reading a Christie novel when he realized his alien heritage, the alien is acting out the book’s plot. Feeling guilty, Agatha Christie takes the stone and, pursued by the giant wasp, drives her Morris Cowley car to the lake, followed by the Doctor and Donna. At the lake, Donna throws the fire stone, now linked to Christie, into the water. The alien wasp-thing follows it into the water and dies. This causes Christie to fall unconscious and lose her memory of the event. The Doctor uses the TARDIS to drop her off at the hotel where she is found eleven days later. The Doctor later shows Donna a copy of Agatha Christie’s Death in the Clouds in which she features a wasp. The two of them realize that Agatha still has fuzzy memories of the events.
After watching the episode, I wanted to know if Agatha Christie really disappeared. Was any of this true or was it just some science fiction imaginings? She really did disappear on December 3, 1926, and her car was found by the lake. She was not found for 11 days, and she couldn’t remember what happened. The real mystery is why she disappeared. Some say that Christie was on the edge of a nervous breakdown. She was depressed about her books, her husband was in love with another woman, and her mother had died. Another theory is that her disappearance was a stunt to save her marriage or to increase book sales. Of course, others (such as time-travelling aliens) seem to believe it had something to do a wasp. 😉 I also wondered if Agatha Christie really wrote a story about a wasp like the Doctor said. Death in the Clouds is a real Agatha Christie novel in which a wasp is originally believed to have killed a rich French moneylender.
Thanks for reading and Allons-y!